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Thailand organises series of events to mark 75 years of diplomatic ties with India

Thailand organises series of events to mark 75 years of diplomatic ties with India

India and Thailand Monday celebrated the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and in tune with the same a series of events and activities have been planned throughout this year to reflect the multi-faceted cooperation between both sides.

To celebrate the 75th year of relations between both sides, the Royal Thai Embassy has organized a series of celebratory events all throughout the year.

These include the textile seminar and exhibition in Varanasi, Kolkata and Delhi last month, and the painting exhibition at the Lalit Kala Academy in August, which have been supported by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).

The Embassy also plans to bring young entrepreneurs from the North Eastern Region of India to visit Thailand in September. The Thai Consulate-Generals in Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai, as well as Team Thailand offices, have also initiated various activities to celebrate this special occasion.

India and Thailand have historical and cultural roots dating back more than thousand years before the establishment of diplomatic relations.

The relations on the political side are closer and friendly at all levels. There have been regular visits from the Royal Thai family, exchanges of visits between head of governments, ministers and high-level officers from various agencies paving the opportunities for a closer cooperation in all areas such as military, security, trade and investment, culture, education, etc.

The ties between the two sides also extended to sub-regional, regional and multilateral levels, including Mekong-Ganga Cooperation, BIMSTEC and ASEAN-India.

The military and security relations are also constructive with regular high-level meetings and joint training and exercises between Army, Navy and Air Forces from both sides.

The sixth Thailand-India Foreign Office Consultations was convened in New Delhi earlier in April. This will be followed by the ninth Joint Commission meeting to be held in Bangkok later this month. Both high-level meetings will help to lay down ways forward to further enhance the dynamic cooperation and joint mechanisms in all areas.

Despite the great challenge posted by Covid-19 pandemic during the past two years, the friendship and cooperation between the two countries remain strong and resilient.

Thailand stood by India during the second Covid wave in April last year with the delivery of medical supplies, including oxygen cylinders and concentrators, from Their Majesties the King and the Queen of Thailand.

Likewise, India also supported Thailand with the same in times of crisis.

On the economic front, India is Thailand’s largest trading partner in South Asia and the 11th worldwide. The trade volume in 2021 reached almost 15 billion USD, recorded as an all-time high.

Currently, there are around 38 Thai companies investing in India in the fields of infrastructure, housing, agro-processing and automotive.

People-to-people connectivity between Thailand and India is also much stronger. Both countries, through their Tourism Authorities, have put efforts into utilizing their full potentials of “Amazing Thailand” and “Incredible India”.

Thailand remains India’s favorite travel destination as it only took five years, from 2015 to 2019, for the number of Indian tourists heading to Thailand to be doubled, from 1.03 million to nearly two million.

India ranks first among international air travelers to Thailand during the first of half this year.


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Connecting facts in events at Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan: SIT to HC

Connecting facts in events at Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan: SIT to HC

The SIT (Special Investigation Team) investigating the Behbal Kalan firing case, has submitted before the Punjab and Haryana High Court that “there are interconnecting facts between the occurrence that took place at Kotkapura and then in Behbal Kalan”. The status report was submitted before the Bench of Justice Raj Mohan Singh. Meanwhile, before the HC, former IGP and AAP MLA Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh also moved an application seeking permission to intervene in the matter. The matter has been fixed for further hearing on May 24, 2022.

The report which has been filed by way of an affidavit of IG-cum-SIT chairman Naunihal Singh, stated that, “It is a matter of record that the agitation(s) against the sacrilege of Shri Guru Granth Sahib were held at Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan. There the conflict between the police and protestors took place at Kotkapura on October 14, 2015, in the early morning, where many individuals were injured and thereafter the occurrence at Behbal Kalan also took place on the same day.”

The report further mentions, “Many of the police officials/personnel present at Kotkapura were moved immediately to Behbal Kalan to deal with the law and order situation, where the conflict took place leading to death of two individuals… thereafter again some of the police officials/personnel came back to Kotkapura from Behbal Kalan”.

The Bench was also told that further investigation in this case was going on. In case any material evidence came on record with regard to individual/official, it would be considered by the SIT. The needful would also be done in accordance with law as per available material/evidence.

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Rajiv Gandhi assassination case: A timeline of events

Rajiv Gandhi Assasination case

The Supreme Court Wednesday ordered the release of A G Perarivalan, one of the life convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. Perarivalan alias Arivu was 19-years-old when he was arrested on June 11, 1991. He was accused of having bought two 9-volt ‘Golden Power’ battery cells for Sivarasan, the LTTE man who masterminded the conspiracy. The batteries were used in the bomb that killed Rajiv Gandhi on May 21 that year.

Here is a timeline of the Rajiv Gandhi Assassination case

10.20pm, May 21, 1991: Former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated at Sriperumbudur. The female assassin who triggered the belt bomb, Dhanu, and 16 others killed.

22 May, 1991 : A CB-CID team was constituted to investigate the case.

24 May 1991 : On request of the state government, then under the Presidential rule, handed over the investigation to a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of CBI.

June 11, 1991 – CBI arrests 19 year old A G Perarivalan. He was booked under the Terrorism and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) like others accused in the case.

20 May, 1992 : SIT chargesheeted 41 accused including 12 dead, three absconding, before a special TADA trial court in Chennai.

January 28, 1998 : After prolonged trial, TADA court sentenced 26 accused to death including Nalini and Perarivalan.

11 May 1999: The Supreme Court upholds the death sentence of four including Murugan, Santhan, Perarivalan and Nalini, three others to life sentences and freed 19 other death convicts. The TADA provisions were also struck down from the case.

April 2000: Nalini’s death penalty was commuted to life by Tamil Nadu governor on the basis of a recommendation of the state cabinet, and a public appeal made by Sonia Gandhi.

 Three death convicts including Santhan, Murugan and perarivalan submitted their mercy pleas to the President of India.

 Perarivalan’s autobiography – ‘An Appeal from the Death Row’ – claimed on how he was implicated in the conspiracy by taking a confession under duress that he bought a battery to make the bomb.

August 11, 2011: The then President Pratibha Patil, after 11 years, rejected these petitions.

August, 2011:
As three death convicts were to be hanged on September 9, 2011, Madras HC stayed the execution orders. A resolution was also passed by the then Chief Minister, late J Jayalalithaa, seeking commutation of the death sentence.

February 24, 2013: Raising the issue of ‘double jeopardy,’ Justice K T Thomas, who headed the SC bench in 1999, said hanging them after 23 years would be unconstitutional. “This appears to be a third type of sentence, something which is unheard and constitutionally incorrect. If they are hanged today or tomorrow, they will be subjected to two penalties for one offense,” he said.

November 2013: Former CBI SP V Thiagarajan, who had taken the confession of Perarivalan in TADA custody, reveals that he altered it to qualify as a confession statement; he said Perarivalan never said he knew the battery he bought would be used to make the bomb.

January 21, 2014: SC commuted the death penalty of three Rajiv case convicts, along with 12 others including aides of forest brigand Veerappan, into imprisonment for life.

Perarivalan submits a mercy petition to the Tamil Nadu Governor seeking release under Article 161 of the Constitution. Later, he moved SC for having no reply from the Governor.

August, 2017: Tamil Nadu government grants parole to Perarivalan, the first parole after his arrest in 1991.

September 6, 2018: On Tamil Nadu governor’s inordinate delay, SC asserts that the Governor has the right to decide on the remission petition filed by Perarivalan.

September 9, 2018: Tamil Nadu Cabinet headed by the then CM Edappadi K Palaniswami recommends the release of all seven convicts.

January, 2021: As the Governor continues to sit on the cabinet recommendation, SC orders to take a decision, warns that the court will be forced to release them citing the inordinate delay. The Governor sends the files to the President despite it being a state cabinet recommendation.

May, 2021: Perarivalan comes out on parole. The new DMK government kept extending the parole.

March 09, 2022:
Supreme court grants bail to Perarivalan

May 11, 2022: Supreme Court concludes hearing in the case.

May 18 – Final Order

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PM Modi calls Israeli counterpart Naftali Bennett, discusses global events and bilateral cooperation

PM Modi calls Israeli counterpart Naftali Bennett, discusses global events and bilateral cooperation

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to his Israeli counterpart Naftali Bennett, whose visit to India was postponed after he contracted Covid-19, to enquire about his health and also discuss recent global events.

Modi tweeted that he looked forward to welcoming Bennett to India for his first visit to the country. “Was happy to speak with PM @naftalibennett and to know that he is recovering well. We discussed recent global events, and also reviewed India-Israel cooperation in various areas. I look forward to welcoming him in India very soon to continue our discussions,” he said.

Replying to him, the Israeli prime minister said, “It was great speaking to you my friend, @NarendraModi. I look forward to seeing you soon!”

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that PM Modi also expressed his condolences for the loss of lives in the recent terrorist attacks in Israel. “The leaders had a detailed discussion on recent geopolitical developments, including the situation in Ukraine. They also reviewed ongoing bilateral cooperation initiatives,” MEA said.

It also said that Prime Minister Modi “conveyed his eagerness to welcome (Israel’s PM) Bennett in India at an early date”.

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El Nino may trigger frequent extreme weather events from 2040s: Study

El Nino may trigger frequent extreme weather events from 2040s: Study

In less than two decades from now, extreme weather events like intense heat waves and rainfall events triggered by El Nino are set to increase, a new study has shown.

El Nino is the unusual warming of ocean waters along the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. It is known to affect the monsoon and cause intense heat and droughts globally. In recent years, the 2015 El Nino event has significantly affected India’s rainfall, crop output and, thus, the overall economy.

In this study, researchers from the University of Exeter, UK have tried to calculate the ‘time of emergence’ of changes along the tropical Pacific Ocean under four possible carbon emissions scenarios. They concluded that drastic rainfall changes were on the cards starting in the 2040s.

“When looking at changes in El Nino rainfall patterns, the best estimate of the time of emergence of changes converges on 2040 in all of the four emissions scenarios considered,” the study published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Nature Climate Change noted.

Normally, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) observes a weaker monsoon over India during El Nino years, even though the Met agency says that there is no one-on-one association between the two.

During 1951 – 2021, 15 years have been dominated by El Nino, including 2015, 2009, 2004, 2002, 1997, 1991, 1987, 1982, 1972, 1969, 1965, 1963, 1957, 1953 and 1951. Of these, nine summer monsoon seasons over the country recorded deficient rain by more than 90 per cent (of the Long Period Average or LPA of 88cm for the country for June-September). During one of the strongest El Nino years in 1997, however, India’s seasonal rain was over 100 per cent of the LPA, the IMD data showed.

Earlier this month, the IMD said that a weak La Nina – the opposite phenomenon of El Nino when the equatorial Pacific remains cooler than normal – has been shown to favour Indian summer monsoons. As per the latest forecasts, the existing La Nina will turn the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) neutral sometime during the upcoming monsoon season.

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Extreme climatic events may cause anxiety, depression: IPCC report

Extreme climatic events, climatic conditions, climatic anxiety, climate change, depression and anxiety, mental health issues caused by climatic events, indian express news

Extreme climate conditions can cause mental health issues like anxiety, depression, acute traumatic stress and sleep problems ranging from mild to severe which may even require hospitalisation, said the latest IPCC report on climate change.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group II’s report titled ‘Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability’, released on Monday, warned that a wide range of climatic events and conditions will have detrimental impacts on mental health.

“The pathways through which climatic events affect mental health are varied, complex and interconnected with other non-climatic influences that create vulnerability.

“The climatic exposure may be direct, such as experiencing an extreme weather event or prolonged high temperatures, or indirect, such as mental health consequences of undernutrition or displacement,” said the report.

The IPCC report has cautioned that not eliminating emissions will cause serious harm to the world, especially South Asia with increased unbearable heat waves, food and water scarcity and sea level rise.

The report also mentioned non-climatic moderating influences which range from an individual’s personality and pre-existing conditions, to social support, to structural inequities.

“Depending on these background and contextual factors, similar climatic events may result in a range of potential mental health outcomes, including anxiety, depression, acute traumatic stress, post-traumatic stress disorder, suicide, substance abuse, and sleep problems, with conditions ranging from being mild in nature to those that require hospitalization,” the report, approved by nearly 200 countries said.

Referring to a study, the report said that in Canada, an association was found between mean heat exposure of 28 degree Celsius within four days of exposure and greater hospital admissions for mood and behavioural disorders, including schizophrenia, mood, and neurotic disorders.

“A US study found mental health problems increased by 0.5 per cent when average temperatures exceeded 30 degree C, compared to averages between 25-30 degree C; a 1 degree C warming over five years was associated with a two per cent increase in mental health problems.

“Another study found a 1 degree C rise in monthly average temperatures over several decades was associated with a 2.1 per cent rise in suicide rates in Mexico and a 0.7 per cent rise in suicide rates in the US. A systematic review of published research using a variety of methodologies from 19 countries found increased risk of suicide associated with a 1 degree C rise in ambient temperature,” the report said.

It, however, said that exposure may also be vicarious, with people experiencing decreased mental health associated with observing the impact of climate change on others, or simply with learning about climate change.

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